Aug 142012

Nepal and China held ninth meeting on Nepal-China Consultation Mechanism between Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Nepal and China on last Monday. They both have reviewd the status of bilateral relations and project in Nepal that is undertaken by the China.

Nepal asked China for more assistance in infrastructure related projects, particularly three road linkages and the lessening of Nepal’s trade deficit with China. The three road linkages include the construction of Khadbari-Kimatankha road, expansion of road from Jomsom to the China border and the Simikot-Hilsa road.

The Chinese side also requested Nepal export to handicrafts to their country. “We have noticed that Nepali handicrafts have a good market in China,” said visiting Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Fu Ying.

After meeting Prime Minister Baburam Bhattrai, Fu told reporters that she would discuss with Chinese diplomatic agencies in Beijing on improving cooperation with Nepal.

The meeting was led by Foreign Secretary Durga Bhattrai with 16 member delegation including senior officials from the Foreign Ministry and other ministries while Fu led a 12 member delegation including Yang Houlan, a Chinese Ambassador to Nepal.

In the delegation, both countries discussed various aspects of Nepal-China relations and agreed that both the parties must foresee the potential for stronger cooperation. “It also expressed their commitment to continue to build on and further promote friendship and cooperation in all fields in accordance with agreements reached and the direction set by leaders from both the countries during high level exchange visits. The Chinese side reiterated its commitment to continue consolidating their traditional friendship with Nepal and expand cooperation in various fields of economic growth and social progress,” a statement released by the Foreign Ministry said.

Earlier on Sunday, Fu called on Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, at his office in Singha Durbar. The DPM expressed appreciation for the valuable support extended by the government and the people of China during Nepal’s political transition, while Fu reiterated China’s policy of non-interference in Nepal’s internal affairs. “China is closely watching Nepal’s political developments and wishes to see Nepal come out of the political transition successfully,” she said.

The Consultation Mechanism is an arrangement between the two countries to establish regular contact between officials from the Foreign Ministries of both the countries. It was set up in 1996 to provide a platform to discuss matters of mutual concern and cooperation. Meetings are held in alternate capital cities at a mutually agreed date. The Eighth Meeting of the Mechanism was held in Beijing through February 15-24, 2009. -ekantipur